openSUSE 10.3 has seen a lot of changes with the media selection; the most prominent one being the new 1-CD installation for KDE, and 1-CD installation for GNOME. Multimedia support in the distribution has also been improved, with MP3 support out-of-the-box for Banshee and Amarok. Today we bring you a special double-bill covering these two stories.
1-CD Installation In the past, openSUSE releases were primarily provided over 5 open source software (OSS) CDs, 1 optional non-oss add-on CD, or the 1 DVD which was the sum of those CDs. Though you only needed 3 of the first 5 OSS CDs for a default KDE and GNOME installation, it was not seen as an ideal scenario. The DVD provided all of the necessary packages and still gave the user the choice of desktop environment, but it was around 3.7 GB which can be a real hassle to download on slow connections. So what has changed? Now the 5 OSS CDs have been commpletely dropped, and in their place comes two new CDs:
These can be combined with the still-existing non-OSS CD to give you additional multimedia and proprietary software, should you require it. The only language available on the CD is US English, but the installer will install all the necessary language packages for you if you select a different language, and lave the next option enabled, that weâ€™ll talk about now. Add Repositories before Installation An extremely nice feature in the installation of openSUSE 10.3 is the new default option of adding repositories before the installation. openSUSE has always had a default installation for each desktop environment, but it has also always given you the choice of installing exactly what packages you want from the given media. Now you have even more choice when you select the â€œAdd Online Repositories Before Installationâ€ option (on the â€œInstall/Upgradeâ€ screen). This will give you the opportunity of adding the OSS, Non-OSS and DEBUG repositories before installing any packages! You have thousands of packages available to you, and all before the installation. Your new install will start up with exactly all the software you want, hence removing the hassle of having to do it later. Network Installation â€œJust Worksâ€! Users of the small network installation will be glad to know that you no longer have to mess with any complex information such as IP addresses. The installation will â€œjust workâ€, and can be used by any user. This is ideal for users who want to select to install only the packages they will need. 1 DVD: KDE, GNOME, and a lot more Furthermore, the DVD is still available for those who want to have the choice of having both desktop environments, as well as much more additional software. It is also available for x86, x86_64 and PPC.
openSUSE is constantly trying to improve the out-of-the-box user experience for all users. To find out even more about how users feel, an openSUSE survey was started, and it was taken by over 27,000 people. The results were of course available to everyone, and they revealed that over 69% of users find multimedia support important, or very important. These complaints did not go unheard. Amarok with MP3 Support In openSUSE 10.3, Amarok â€” the popular KDE audio player â€” will have MP3 support available to you directly from the non-OSS online repository, or will work out-of-the-box on the DVD. This is all thanks to the yauap GStreamer plugin available from Fluendo. It is a significant step forward for all KDE users or Amarok aficionados in openSUSE. openSUSE Codec Installer You might be thinking about what happens to users who did a plain, default 1-CD KDE installation and chose to not add the default repositories. Adding the non-OSS repository is always an option, but not the most intuitive solution for most computer users. This did not go unnoticed, and a great solution is now available with the openSUSE Codec Installer. Now, with a completely default OSS installation, if you try to play an MP3 (in Amarok or Banshee) you will get a nice little dialog informing you that you have attempted to play an audio file that is currently not supported: As you can see, it also gives you the option to install the additional codecs providing you with MP3. This link will take you to a place where you quite simply only need to click on one link, and, using One-Click-Install grab the GStreamer Fluendo codec for you and install it (not available in RC1, but will be in the final release), leaving you ready to play MP3s straight away! Furthermore, it also provides links to the community website which gives you advice on other free formats, and suggests other workarounds for other multimedia software: Banshee In openSUSE 10.2 users were provided with MP3 support if they used Helix Banshee, but in openSUSE 10.3 you can use the same Fluendo MP3 codec in your regular Banshee, as well!
You can test and try out all of this stuff (with the exception of 1-click install for Amarok codecs) by taking the openSUSE 10.3 Release Candidate for a spin. The final official release will be on October.